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tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  March 25, 2013 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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>> is she breathing? >> no. she's gone. she's gone. >> the innocent, simple life tom foley and his wife once lived was gone forever. >> oh, my god. oh, my god. >> 27 seconds, gives it off to foley. >> it was a moment tom foley never would have imagined 223 years earlier. scoring the winning basket giving them the regional title. >> he hits it with 5 seconds. >> and earning young tom a place in cold water's basketball hall of fame. >> it was like victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat. and he came through with it. >> to what extent be were you sort of known around here for being the kid that hit the game-winning shot?
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>> that went on for a long time. maybe someone might come up, hey, you remember when you hit that shot? of course i remember. >> he started dating darlene weber. dar as she was known, had a personality as big as her smile. >> the first time i saw her, she was playing softball. and she had on these lime green rec. specks. so she looked a little funny. but when she took them off, i thought she was beautiful. >> it was a classic case of opposites attracting. >> i think we both went into the relationship knowing that we really loved spending time with one another. >> tom was the laid-back easygoing type. darr an elementary teacher was type a. >> she had opinions and she let
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those be known. that's one of the reasons i loved her. i still love her today. >> still when darr's sisters learned that darr and tom planned to marry. >> my thought was there must be something wrong with tom for him to stay with darr. >> you couldn't do it? >> no. >> you couldn't be around somebody that was that much the center of attention and that controlling? >> darr was not a dough mes kated person either. >> the foleys were married in 1994. and right from the start dar took the lead. >> is it fair to say she wore the pants in that house? >> i'd say probably 75, 80%. time she did. >> she was the breadwinner? >> yes. >> you stayed home and took care of your son in. >> i did. >> hee was tom and dar's only child and the center of their lives. >> and we just loved of being together. we were always together.
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>> and so the three foleys lived on the outskirts of cold water in an old farmhouse they called the heath bar farm, a picture perfect family, until that winter day, back in 2009. >> when was the last thing you said to her? >> i said i love you, and i'll see you later. >> on that day, the foleys were preparing to celebrate heath's tenth birthday. dar still need add shower. so tom, heath and a friend of hea heath left without her. >> she was always on time or early to events. >> so tom left the parity and headed back home in search of his wife. >> our kichen back door was opened. and i noticed that the glass was broken. and there was glass all over our kitchen floor.
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so i looked through the rest of the house for her. and i ended up finding her in our bathroom. >> she'd been shot in the head with a shotgun at point-blank range. tom immediately called for help. >> what's the problem? >> my wife. she's just laying there in blood. >> first responders rushed to the foley farm. when michigan state police detective james carbon arrived on the scene he knew he was in for a long night. >> we don't have a lot of homicides that happen in and around this county. and because of her position as a schoolteacher, just for the number of people that knew her, that put it in a much more serious type investigation. >> detective carbon and his team of skate troopers scoured the crime scene, taking pictures and seizing evidence of what appeared to be a home burglary gone wrong. the first can clue, the broken glass coming from the kitchen door window. >> it appeared that a beer
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bottle was used to break that particular window. >> according to tom, jewelry and credit cards were missing. the family desk had also been disturbed and financial documents inside were gone. and then there was the medicine cabinet. >> looked like somebody had gone in and scooped a shelf off of the medicine cabinet and its contents. >> like maybe they were looking for prescription drugs. >> potentially. >> but to detective carbon, the items missing weren't nearly as telling as what was left behind. expensive electronics were untouched, as was dar's purse sitting on a hallway chair. >> it just didn't make a lot of sense. >> neither did the use of a shotgun. >> it's large, potentially bulky. if you're going to break into something you have to carry whatever you steal out with the shotgun that you brought also. >> it wasn't until the next day the police found their first significant piece of evidence. evidence that led the
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investigation in a whole new direction. down in the foley's dusty basement was a suspiciously dust free yellow plastic bag. >> what was in the bag? >> three shotgun shells. >> we found a bag that had some shotgun shells in it. had you ever seen it before? >> no. >> new questions for the grieving husband, from police and dar's family. >> there were a number of people that were really offended by his veneer. >> when mystery at heath bar farm continues. what's this? uhh, it's my geico insurance id card, sir. it's digital, uh, pretty cool right? maybe. you know why i pulled you over today? because i'm a pig driving a convertible? tail light's out.. fix it. digital insurance id cards.
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the funeral for dar was held on the 13th, friday the 13th. those who were unlucky fluff to be grieving the woman they loved and lost poured into the school. >> she was so full of life. and she had a lot more to give. you can't bring her back. >> your wife's been killed and you've got a ten year old son. >> yeah. >> what did you tell him? >> i told him that someone had hurt mommy. and he goes, is she in heaven. and i said yes. >> it seemed that no one in cold
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water could comprehend what had happened, including steve and jone pierce, close friends of both tom and dar's who learned of the murder from tom himself. >> i said the three of you were always together and he was crying and he said i know. i know. i should have been there for her. and then i said if you would have been, the three of you would be dead now instead of just dar. >> but just 24 hours into the investigation, detective jim carbon had al qaeda abandoned the theory that this was a random act of violence. >> it appeared to me that this was a staged breaking and entering to try to hide a homicide that took place. >> but according to detective carbon, whoever staged the burglary didn't factor in the weather that day. >> it got really warm. we had a huge snow meltoff. >> the ground around the farmhouse was unusually wet and muddy. >> so you would expect there would be muddy footprints from
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inside the residence from somebody who had come inside twha door. >> absolutely. >> was there any footprints? >> absolutely nothing. >> but there was a yellow bag in the basement, the bag that contained shotgun shells that interested carbon the most. >> downstairs in the basement, we found a bag that had some shotgun shells in it, okay. have you ever seen that before? >> no. >> the foleys didn't own a sholt gun as far as we know. >> that's correct. >> carbon sent the bag to the lab for analysis. and what technicians found on the bag surprised even this veteran detective. >> tom's fingerprint was on the bag. >> yes. >> suddenly detective carbon felt he needed to take a closer look at tom foley and his seemingly picture perfect marriage. >> i think they did a lot of things together, however i don't consider them the picture perfect couple.
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>> neither did dar's sister lynn in whom dar once confided. >> she said tom doesn't love me any more. he's leaving me. he's going through his change of life you know. >> his mid-life crisis. >> yes. >> dar's sisters were becoming increasingly suspicious especially after watching tom's behavior at dar's funeral. >> it was almost like he was relieved. >> there were a number of people that came up to me after the service that were really offended by his demeanor, his joyfulness. >> these are things that i've heard. and it's ridiculous. i mean, taking care of heath was on my mind. wondering who killed my wife was on my mind. they don't mote things that i've been through. >> maybe so, but detective carbon was keeping a very watchful eye on tom foley. he decided to interview the other foleys who was at the farm the day dar was killed.
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tom and dar's son heath. >> i'm detective carbon. >> on that day he and his friend were inside the house watching video games waiting to be driven to heath's birthday celebration. >> did you see anything different or out of the ordinary, anybody walking around? anybody come up to the door? anything that you can think of? >> not really. >> okay. >> the detective also interviewed schuyler who said right before leaving for the party tom sent the two boys outside to go start up the truck. >> he staid that he'll be out there in a little bit. >> okay. >> i don't flow what he was doing in there, taking a shower or what. >> okay. >> like heath, schuyler couldn't recall anything unusual about that day either. and then suddenly. >> yeah. when we were outside across the barn, i do remember, like, a big crash, like way in the back of the house. >> like what did it sound like?
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>> it sounded like breaking grass and a bunch of things falling, like maybe a vase just. >> it was a loud sound? >> yeah. >> detective carbon showed schuyler a picture of the foley farm and asked schuyler to put an x where he thinks the sound originated. >> like somewhere around in here. >> schuyler placed the x just outside the first floor bathroom, the same room where dar foley had been shot. >> it appeared to us that schuyler may have heard the shotgun blast that killed dar foley. >> detective carbon was also thinking this -- the one other person in that house at that time was tom foley. >> coming up. >> he wanted the house. he wanted her money. and if he divorced her he loves everything. >> was that a motive? and was tom
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from the mouths of babes. or in this case, one articulate ten year old boy, came what seemed like a case breaking revelation. >> it was loud, loud. >> detective carbon believed ten year old schuyler was an ear witness be to the shotgun blast that killed dar foley. if so, it meant dar was murdered earlier than originally thought. more significantly, it meant tom foley was still in the house when the murder occurred. >> that lead was huge. it was very, very important. >> but if tom foley was in that house and pulled the trigger, the question romained why. the answer, said carbon, is quite simple. >> murder for money. >> potentially, yes. >> money in the form of an insurance policy. >> i think that he wanted out of the marriage. of and he did whatever he needed to do to make sure that that happened. >> and if he got $310,000 in insurance money and got out of
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the marriage, so much the better? >> yes. >> the evidence against tom foley was circumstantial but compelling. >> you think he faked that burglary? >> yes. and killed his wife. yes. >> they never found the murder weapon. >> what do you think happened to the gun? >> i wish i knew. >> but even without it, in march of 2009, one month after dar foley was gunned down in her shower, state police arrested tom foley and charged him with his wife's murder. >> and i just -- what? why? and i was like this cannot be happening. why do you think that i did this? i did not kill my wife. >> to tom and dar's close friends, the pierces, news of tom's arrest was almost as stunning as the news of dar's death. >> could you conceive of tom either hating his wife so much that he wanted to kill her. >> absolutely not.
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>> or killing her for the insurance money? >> absolutely not. >> that would be stupid. she made good money. why kill the golden goose. >> did they have a good marriage? >> yes. everything seemed to be going good for them. >> it seemed say disparticular. >> he never would have done that to his son. >> police continued gathering evidence. ten days after tom's arrest police brought heath foley in for a second interview, and this time heath did recall hearing a noise that day. >> schuyler talks about hearing this unusual sound. do you remember any sound? >> our neighbors like shoot guns. i was like, maybe a gunshot maybe or glass broke. i don't know. there was one of those two things, maybe. >> according to tom, the sound he heard was nothing more than glass breaking.
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>> there were old barn windows that i was trying to clean up. and i went to grab them and one of them slipped out of my grip and it smashed on our back porch steps. >> and made a lot of noise. >> yeah. it did. yep. >> but dough techtive carbon wasn't buying tom's explanation. >> the boys were playing over by this barn? >> yes. >> and how far is that to the house? >> it's approximately 75 yards. >> mr. foley claims he was dropping a window. would that sound have penetrated that far? >> in my opinion, that couldn't have happened. >> police also say they carefully searched that area around the back porch. >> there was no glass that we could see when we looked at the scene on that particular night as well as the next day. >> for dar's sisters, the writing was by now on the wall. they were certain of their brother-in-law's guilt. >> we went over every case we could come up with to not make it tom.
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>> i think tom resented dash in that he couldn't be a man. i think it kind of ate at him and he couldn't take it any more. >> people get divorced for that reason. >> he didn't divorce her, because he's a selfish coward. he wanted heath. he wanted the house. he wanted her money. and if he divorced her, he lost everything. >> in november, 2009, tom foley's trial began. the prosecution argued that only tom had a motive to kill dar. but the defense claimed police had rushed to judgment. defense attorney tom shaver and defense investigator ken kol ber steen. >> in their mind, it's always the boyfriend or the husband. >> or the person who findsed body. >> fwhi this case was. >> the husband and tom. >> they wanted me bad. what's easy for them, to go after someone they can physically see or to go after
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someone they cannot physically see. >> what's wrong with the idea that the motive was the money? >> absolutely not. we had a mortgage. to move on it was going to take a heck of a lot more than that. >> after two weeks, the jury had its verdict. >> i felt that the evidence was going to prove i had absolutely nothing to do with this. >> 12 jurors didn't share that feeling. >> we the jury find the defendant guilty of first degree murder. >> i was just, what? i was just shocked. >> what was wrong with the jury? what did they know that i don't know? how could they convict a man on what they had? >> they knew what a conviction was meant for me. and for life without the possibility of parole. >> my sister was still dead. still didn't bring her back. you had a little bit of faith in the justice system. >> in the hours following the
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verdict, it seemed everyone in cold water was relying on faith. >> i said to myself, god isn't going to let pea go to prison for the rest of my life. something had to turn around. >> then, less than 24 hours after the verdict, tom foley's defense team got a phone call from a woman. >> this is a woman who essentially says, i saw the murderer, and it wasn't tom foley. >> coming up, there's a killer right there. she saw him. >> a bombshell from out of the blue. was there home fpe for a newly convicted husband? when mystery at heath bar farm continues. while your carpets may appear clean. it's scary how much dirt your vacuum can leave behind. add resolve deep clean powder before you vacuum to expel the dirt within your carpets. resolve's deep clean powder is moist. absorbing and lifting three times more dirt than vacuuming alone. leaving you with a carpet that's truly fresh and clean.
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foley, baseline jumper. >> 24 years after the one time hometown hero named tom foley made cold water history, the now convicted murderer of the same name sat behind bars awaiting his sentence. >> you ready to spend the rest of your life in prison? >> no. absolutely not. >> to tom foley's attorney and to his private eye, the guilty verdict landed like a crushing bloechlt. >> this was a grassroots lo done it. and we thought we had shown that it wasn't this person who had done it. i was devastated. when this ended, i could have walked no a wall. >> but just one day after tom foley's conviction, a woman stepped forward. she had new information that suddenly gave new life to tom's defense. >> she came forward and said i saw this white car storming out
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of the driveway almost hit me. it looked like somebody was either high or running away from something. >> the woman was certain the driver was coming out of the heath bar farm, right around the time dar was murdered. and she was equally certain, the driver looked nothing like tom foley. >> there's the killer. right there. she saw him. a person leaving our property. >> and then, like a dam breaking, two other witnesses came forward. each having seen a mysterious car of their own, either parked on the foley property or speeding away from it. all the sightings were within two hours of dar's murder. >> it was just like one after another. and i say, what is going on? where were these people before? >> the judge who was about to sentence tom foley to life, wanted to hear what it these new witnesses had to say. and after a year of appeals that went all the way to the state
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supreme court, tom foley was granted something most people convicted of murder never receive. a second chance. >> i was walking through the chou hall in prison and somebody says hey, tom i saw you on the news. i said really? what for? they said they gave you a new trial. i said what? >> but news of a new trial didn't change the views of dar's family. not only did he kill dar, but did he so on the 10th birthday of his child. >> do you think tom's cold brooded enough to do something like that? >> yes. i think there's evil. >> prosecutor norris agreed. >> who killed dar? >> tom foley. there's nobody else. >> a year aen a half after tom foley's conviction both sides filed once again back into the courthouse to once again determine tom's fate.
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as before, the state opened the case with the crime scene analyst. >> what is it that you found in the basement. >> a bag. located in the bag were three shotgun shells. >> norris also showed the jury the foley's phone records from around the time dar was killed. >> there were no phone calls that came in or left. >> your wife doesn't show up somewhere, why not call home and see where are you? >> that's what i would do. >> according to detective carbon tom didn't bother calling dar at home because he knew dar was already dead. then members of dar's family step forward to testify that tom and dar's marriage was troubled and that tom wanted out. >> he told mow that his wife is very controlling. and that it was wearing on him, and he did not necessarily want to stay in the marriage any
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more. >> and there was more evidence of an unhappy marriage. according to this woman, back in 2006, tom had a wandering eye. >> please state your full name for the record and spell your last name. >> carolyn suk. >> carry suk taught at the same elementary school as dar. that's how she met tom. >> he told me that he was thinking about leaving dee dee. >> according to carrie, tom also revealed he had feelings for her. and later he tried to kiss her. >> what was your reaction to that? >> i didn't want anything to do with it. >> the prosecution wasn't done. this woman took the stand. >> please state your full name for the record and spell your last name. >> marian victorial crandall. >> out of the presence of the jury she told the court that like carrie, she met tom through dar. and a couple weeks after the
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murder marian stopped by the farm to offer support. >> i don't mean to embarrass you, but you had sex with tom in his living room? >> he tried to, and it was stopped. >> who tried and who stopped? >> he tried, and we both stopped. >> you don't have a sexual relationship with somebody within two weeks after your wife's been murdered in that house. >> but the jury never heard marian can dal's testimony because there was no indication of a romantic relationship prior to dar's murder. the judge ruled just as he did in the first trial that her testimony was prejudicial and therefore inadmissible. it was a huge blow to the prosecution's case. >> it supports the position that they weren't this deeply in love couple that he kept trying to present. i mean, that would have proven that. >> but norris still had her two key witnesses. tom's own son heath and heath's
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friend schuyler. both two years older and now both more certain about what they saw and heard the day dar was killed. >> last year at church camp we fired shotguns and it most resembled that sound. >> then it was time for heath to take the stand. the last time tom had seen his boy was at a hearing also in court almost a year earlier. >> while you're in the barn, do you hear something? >> yes. i thought it was maybe schuyler kind of ran into a wall. either that or a gunshot. >> you think the boys actually were if not eyewitnesses then ear witnesses. >> ear witnesses to what happened. >> tom shafer knew that if he had any hope of getting tom acquitted he needed to prove the sound the boys heard was anything other than a gunshot. just two weeks before trial began while inspecting crime scene photos, shafer found what
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may be the key to his client's freedom. and i says ken, is that what i think it is? it was one of these holy crap. >> it was just a perry mason moment. >> coming up. >> we were together all the time. >> tom foley on the stand with his own fate on the line. >> i wanted to convince the police. i wanted to convince my wife's family. >> could he? when dateline continues. you never know what messes you'll run into while dusting. of course there's dust. in addition to dust, you might find a little latte. ♪ and maybe something beastly. mixed in with the dust, you may even find some pixie sneezes. compared to a dry duster, a can of pledge picks up more dust and cleans 100% of messes. pledge multi surface. dusts better. cleans more. s.c. johnson. a family company.
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the defense began introducing its case. >> midway through the trial, the talk in cold water talked about the testimony of schuyler and tom's own son heath. >> the defense was about to argue that over time both boys' testimony had changed. and in significant ways. >> heath is now stating that it sounds like a gunshot? it's something he didn't say in the first interview. the same thing with schuyler. >> heath's courtroom testimony left tom furious, not at his son, but at his accusers, the
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people who will cared for heath while tom was incarcerated. >> that's someone coaching him or encouraging him? >> i believe so. >> coached or not, tom foley's defense team knew they needed to prove the sound those boys heard was tom dropping a win die on the back porch and not the gun blast. four days after the arrest, they took a trip to the farm. >> this is the frame that we found. >> right where tom said i dropped the frame they found this tiny shard of glass. immediately, they tried to match the shard with the frame. tom said he dropped. >> if you take the shard and set it in the few remaining in tact putty remaining arias of the frame you can see it fits perfectly. >> it was compelling evidence that tom may have been telling the truth. but shafer would need more than a shard of evidence. he next called this woman,
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janette moore, the woman had came forward immediately following tom's guilty verdict. and the reason he was ultimately granted a new trial. moore said she was driving past the foley house right around the time dar had been murdered. >> as i approached, this white car come raceing out forward and if i hadn't breaked i would have lit him. >> she got a good look at the driver. >> it was a young 18, 20 year old kid, had real black hair and his face was real white and he was clutching the wheel like this and i thought he's crazy. he's going to kill somebody. >> why didn't you call the police? >> i didn't because i was afraid. >> but when janette moore learned about tom foley's guilty verdict, she said she could no longer keep her silence. >> god forgive me, and i truly mean that in my heart, that i didn't come forward sooner.
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if i hadn't have been so darned scared. >> what followed was a succession of other witnesses, each claiming they, too, saw mysterious cars either on or leaving the heath bar farm right around the time of the murder. >> whoever killed dar foley was either in one of those cars or all three of them participated in this murder in some fashion. >> but tom foley knew if he had any hope of acquittal, the jury would need to hear from one more witness. >> i call tom foley to the stand, your honor. >> i just didn't want to convince the 12 jurors. i wanted to convince the prosecutor. i wanted to convince the police. i wanted to convince my wife's family. i wanted them to know and look at me and hear me. >> tom started by answering some still nagging questions, like how did a yellow plastic bag with shotgun shells in it get into tom's basement. >> did you have those bags in
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your home? >> yes. >> how do you explain the bag in the basement with the shotgun shells in it. >> they weren't ours. that bag is probably ours. i mean my fingerprint's on the bag but for three clean shotgun shells to be in my basement just doesn't make sense. >> you have no idea where those came from? >> absolutely not. >> tom said he's never owned or used a shotgun. >> never, wouldn't know how to operate it. wouldn't know the first thing about it. >> tom shafer then asked why tom failed to call his home when dar didn't show up at the birthday celebration? >> something just wasn't right. that's why i went home. if we had cell phones i would have called her on a cell phone. i had to find her. i had to go and see where she was at. >> then it was time for tom to describe his relationship with dar. it didn't take tom long to lose his composure. >> we were very close.
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and we were -- >> go ahead. >> we were together all the time. >> tom admitted to the jury he did once flirt with carrie zee uck but that happened try years prayer to the murder and that was a time when he and dar were arguing more than they were communicating. >> that put quite a bit of distance between us. and it also led to intimacy problems between her and i. >> tom says he eventually told dar about his feelings for carrie. he also says he went to counseling to work on their communication problems. >> after those sessions, did things get better? >> absolutely. >> but then why was it so easy for tom to become intimate with marian crandall so soon after dar's death. >> it was like three weeks after dar died. >> yes.
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>> and you're in the house where dar died. >> yeah. >> what am i to think of that? >> think that i don't care about what had just happened to my wife. that's not true. if i go back and change it, i would. but i can't. >> this was an event that involved grief and a reaching out and it happened. >> do you love your wife? >> i love her very much. >> did you love her on february 7th, 2009? >> very much so. >> did you have anything to do with her death? >> not at all. >> before closing arguments, the prosecutor had one more card to play. in the form of a surprise rebuttal witness. who could unravel tom's alibi. >> please state your full name for the record. >> amber. >> out of the presence of the jury dar's niece told the jury
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that she went to the farm to babysit. >> she told us not to go out to the back part without shoes because tom had broke a frame and they are might still be some glass out there. >> but the judge ruled that amber's testimony was hearsay and inadmissible. the jury never heard her challenge tom's claim that what the boys heard the day dar was murdered was him dropping a window frame. now with the evidence that was admitted and for the second time in two years, a jury was about to decide tom foley's fate. >> my some ablg was turning. i wasn't eating. i was physically sick. >> coming up. another verdict brings another shattering moment. >> he collapsed to the
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. as he did in the first trial, attorney tom shafer prepared to address the jury for what he and his client tom foley hoped would be the last time. >> when your defense rested, were you comfortable? >> yes.
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>> you thought you were going to win? >> very much, yeah. >> you thought that once before. >> yes, i did. >> apparently, the theory of the prosecution is that if a marriage ever has a bump in the road then that is a motive for murder. is it reasonable? i suggest not. >> tom foley he says had nothing to do with dar's death. but those mysterious cars did. >> those cars should not have been there. and the prosecution has not given you any explanation why they were there, because there is no other explanation, other than that they had some connection with the death of dar foley. ladies and gentlemen of the jury, i submit to you, there's more than reasonable doubt. i respectfully ask you to find tom foley not guilty. >> then came prosecutor terry norris' turn, and she started by attacking the credibility of those witnesses who say they saw the cars.
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>> if you were to brief that all of these vehicles were there, there was a party at the foley home that day with a bunch of white cars and a black suv. that makes no sense whatsoever. none. >> terry norris wanted this jury thinking only one thing. >> who had the motive? it's tom foley. whose fingerprint was on the bag of shells in the basement? tom foley. tom foley is guilty. and i'm asking you to bring back that verdict. >> the outcome of tom's second trial was far from certain. >> what worried you the most? >> just that he was such a nice guy, that you would never have guessed that he would have done something like that. >> he didn't seem like a murderer? >> right. >> and then at the fabled 11th hour, it was time. the jury filed in. >> were they looking at you, the jurors? >> no, they weren't. i took a couple deep breaths and i just. >> your honor, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. >> waiting had, it had paid off.
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>> as to count two? >> not guilty. >> the reaction of tom at the time of the verdict? >> absolutely incredible. he collapsed to the floor and wept for 20 minutes. unbelievable. >> he got away with murder, but he almost didn't. we had it. we had him convicted. and to actually have to go back and talk with that family and try and give them some consoling, how do you do that? >> you're just angry. and you're angry at the jurors, the judge. and there's nothing you can do about it. >> i was more concerned about heath. at that point. because i knew that he knew his father killed his mother. and i couldn't imagine having to go back and live with the man
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that killed your mother. >> get it! >> tom has regained custody of heath. and he treads very carefully when discussing that tragic day with liis boy. >> from him i want to know why you believe i did this. and all he says is i don't flow who else it could have been. >> tom says he will never forget dar. >> i still think she's beside me. going to continue to raise our son the way that we wanted him to be raised. >> you harbor any grudge because of the -- >> all i can say is they made a mistake. that's all i'm asking, is that they search and search and search until they find dee dee's killer. >> according to prosecutor norris, there would be no point to that search. >> you're not investigating any more. >> there's no one to investigate. and there's been no new evidence of anybody else ever having committed this crime.
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>> this boyhood hero wrote a whole new set of headlines as an adult. and cold water may never be the same. as for those who remain convinced of tom's guilt, they kling to the memory of the one they lost and loved so much. they gathered to release balloons in dar's honer. >> she loved to be the center of attention. so this is her center of attention. >> they rise closer to where show's at. and hopefully she sees that we're thinking about her. >> we love you, dar. >> that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. this sunday a special focus on the political debate over our
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personal freedoms. 100 days since the massacre at a newtown school and the gun safety debate is coming to a head on capitol hill. but are gun control advocates going to be disappointed as an assault weapons ban appears headed for failure? this morning two key voices join me. new york city mayor michael bloomberg and the executive vice president and ceo of the national rifle association wayne lapierre. then, marriage equality. do gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marriage? the supreme court is taking up the question. how far the country has moved on gay marriage politically but is there still a ways to go? one of the key lawyers in the fight, david boies, joins our discussion. plus, the president in the middle east. >> you are not alone. >> how did he do? analysis about his new push for
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peace and new warnings for syria and iran. and good sunday morning. new hope for a peace push in the middle east. the president arrived back in wa washington after a mideast trip that took him to israel for his first time as president as well as visits to the palestinian territories and jordan while a reinvigorated peace process is one goal, more pressing concerns for the obama white house are the threats from iran and the effect of the relentless bloodshed in syria. we want to begin with some analysis about the president's trip this morning with our chief foreign correspondent richard engel back from the region. he is in new york this morning. i have david brooks of "the new york times" and e.j. dionne with me in washington. richard, let me start with you. the president called on israel to renew efforts to the creation of a palestinian state. he helped restore the
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israeli/turkish relationship. so what else do you think he can return with that he can actually build upon? >> reporter: well, i think the reconciliation between turkey and israel is something that's very important because i wouldn't see the chances right now of an israeli/palestinian reconciliation but i do think the middle east recognizes that there are urgent regional matters as syria implodes that the region needs to have some sort of summit and turkey is going to play a big part of that. so i think coming out of this, you're going to see istanbul emerging as a major destination for diplomatic relations. i think that was the way to do the middle east trip right now in a regional contrast not so much about getting israelis and palestinians to talk. >> and, richard, you talk about some of the private discussions going on between the president and benjamin netanyahu and king abdullah of jordan. the focus on 0 the end game in syria and the threat from iran. this is going to occupy much of the president's time.
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>> reporter: it certainly will. if you look right now at the region, syria is imploding. it is exporting refugees. it is exporting instability. israel feels very threatened, very unsure about its future. that's obvious by the way they are walling themselves in psychologically and physically. and i think the president went there to give israel a big hug. some people in the region think that he went too far, that he went too far to embrace dynism as an ideology not just the state of israel, the palestinians generally were disappointed with the trip. nothing concrete coming out of it. the idea was to make israel feel secure in an increasingly insecure region. >> all right, richard engel, just back from the region. he's in new york this morning. thank you very much, richard. to david] and e.j. dionne. what did the president accomplish in terms of how did he perform? that's a big aspect of the trip. >> it was a triumph. he hasn't brought peace to the mid


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